Last year October, the 20th to be precise, blood of innocent young Nigerians flowed in Lekki Toll-Gate Plaza in Lagos. On that fateful day following weeks of sustained demonstrations across the country against the storied atrocities of the then notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) some zombie military officers opened fire on unarmed protesters waving the national flag and singing the national anthem. It was a spectacle of sadism, of horror! Since then it has been recriminations galore.
Some observers and eye-witnesses had said that scores of youths were brutally massacred that gory night in Lekki. And others had declared that well up to a dozen folks were killed extra-judicially by the trigger-happy soldiers. While the number of those murdered could not exactly be ascertained what is clear is that the state killed its citizens for demanding accountability in government and above all, an end to the abuse, extortion and executions by SARS.
Of course SARS was banned as the fire and fury on the streets raged. Promises of justice were made by the governments (states and federal). But up until now we have not seen any justice served for the fallen heroes and heroines. Those compatriots gunned down in their prime deserve nothing but justice!
Judicial panels had been inaugurated from Lagos to Benin City, Awka to Port Harcourt but nothing has thus far come out of their proceedings. The military in Lagos State had first denied ever being responsible for the mass murder in Lekki. But they swallowed their lies by admitting that indeed some of their men were drafted onto the scene to cause chaos and destruction of lives and properties.
Who sent them to quell a civilian protest which ordinarly should be the duty of the police force remains mired in controversy. The blame game continues unabated.
The Lagos State Government led by Babajide Sanwo-Olu had acknowledged that an atrociously bloody incident did happen in Lekki toll-gate but they had denied responsibility by claiming that the Governor never sent any military elements to go put down the mini-revolution violently. Who then ordered the blood-thirsty soldiers out of their barrack?
In Anambra state (a state that boasted the worst form of SARS’ evil machinations) the out-going Governor Willie Obiano had promised to do justice but no justice has been done. If CSP James Nwafor, the vampire who was said to have overseen the gruesome elimination of many people in the state) could still be roaming free then something must be wrong with our justice delivery system.
Since we are now living dangerously in a country where a retired military dictator is imposing his dictatorial will on the rest of us justice has been relegated to the background. Anyone could be killed anywhere without anything happening. With galloping insecurity now a daily staple of Nigerians genuine fears have been expressed by concerned Nigerians that the nation is heading inexorably towards anarchy.
Chaos is already here and it could lead to anarchy sooner than later unless the authorities do the needful. Something must ‘die’ for something to give!
The unprecedented spectre of violence, murder, arson,kidnappings and gangsterism in the South-east region lately could not be disentangled from the prevalence of injustice, inequity and unfairness the Igbos have suffered for decades on end.
Under Buhari’s watch foreign reserves had been depleted and billions of Dollars had been borrowed more! The Naira has taken a sound beating in the foreign exchange mechanisms. Poverty is rising fast as prices of essential commodities soar in the market.
Secessionist threats are resonating from the South-east to the South-west. Sunday Ighoho and Nnamdi Kanu are detained yet agitations for Oduduwa and Biafra independent nations are gaining more momentum.
Since independence, sixty one giddy years ago, we have never had it so bad. Nigeria is fast turning into a wasteland where terrorists, abductors, Fulani herdsmen and ‘unknown gunmen’ are holding sway. And the future holds no better auguries! We are in for worse times, going forward.
Many critics have argued that Nigeria needs an urgent structural surgical operation if she must survive the present storm. Others are of the opinion that what we need to make progress is nothing but revolution. Of course we hold that the elite misruling us from Abuja must come to terms with the fact that it is either restructuring or revolution! Otherwise implosion is inevitable!
The #EndSARS campaign last year achieved its objective minimally despite the fact that it ended sadly horribly. President Muhammadu Buhari must ruminate over the strong message sent across. There is need for the security goons killing and maiming and intimidating our people to be reined in. Democracy accepts divergent views and dissidence.
Let the protests in remembrance of those killed last year go ahead. Governor Sanwo-Olu must put a halt to his plans to organise concerts with celebrities to distract youths from participating in the #EndSARS remembrance event. He should tell us what his government has done so far to prosecute the culprits in the Lekki massacre.
As October 20 approaches we are reminded that another #EndSARS revolution is called for. We must never forget or forgive those who sent our youths untimely to the great beyond at Lekki in Lagos. As we remember their civic and democratic exploits so shall we remember the lost battle for the end of Buharism.
May the souls of the victims of the Lekki Toll-gate massacre rest in peace! The evil of a country they left behind must get better with time. For their sake and for their memory we must not fail!
As we mark one year anniversary of #EndSARS with heavy hearts we ask lamentably: Justice, Ou Est Tu? (Justice, Where Are You?)